May Perk-Me-Up: Elder Care

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by viperk's , last updated on

elder-care.jpgDays pass and seasons change, but our dedication to innovative employee engagement remains unwavering. At viperks, we have witnessed employee solutions that push the boundaries of creativity. Each month we'll highlight one unique employee engagement idea as our "Perk-Me-Up of the Month." Think of it as a free monthly subscription to the best corporate perks around.

Being a parent is a job in of itself. Caring for an aging and/or ailing parent can be even more overwhelming, and time consuming.

Needless to say, it can be extremely stressful for a person --- with a full-time job and a family of their own --- to have to worry about how they will take care of their loved ones. It can be tough for an employer to understand what their employees are going through. Every person has different needs, and no matter what, elder care is an incredibly demanding, often full-time job.

Employees who are preoccupied with outside affairs often aren't as effective, hurting their on-the-job performance. On top of that, when an employee is working all day and worrying about and caring for a loved one all night, they might lose sleep. Less sleep leads to worsened moods, slower reaction times, and decreased critical thinking abilities.

Because of this, more and more companies are providing elder care to their employees, helping them alleviate the stress, emotional unrest, and financial burden that comes with caring for a sick or elderly loved one.

The 2014 Families and Work Institute's National Study of Employers found that 40 percent of employees who were caring for elderly relatives were forced to reduce their work hours or quit their jobs due to inflexible work environments. On the flip side, the number of employers who are offering elder care has increased from 31 percent in 2008 to 43 percent in 2014.

With a goal of helping workers continue their work uninterrupted, Ernst & Young's elder care program offers referrals to care providers, discounted rates, and access to an emergency backup care provider.

Implementing an elder care program can be as simple as offering your employees flexibility with part-time schedules, compressed work weeks, job-sharing, and/or telecommuting. Another way to help is by subsidizing the costs of emergency in-home care. Employers with 50 or more employees must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which mandates that employers provide paid or unpaid leave benefits and job protection. Employers with less than 50 employees could consider offering the same benefits as a part of an elder care program.

It is understandable to be concerned about the financial viability of providing elder care to your employees. As a business, you must maintain profitability. And, yes, in the short-term you may suffer while an employee is absent. However, giving resources and assistance to employees boosts morale and employee retention. Holding onto longtime employees helps avoid the costs of recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and training new employees.

If you support an employee while he or she is taking care of a sick or elderly loved one, that employee will likely be forever grateful. The employee will always share the story of how you and your business allowed for him or her to care for a family member in need. People love to work for employers who care, which will make recruiting even more talented individuals that much easier.

At viperks, we aim to clean up any shortcomings you're experiencing with employee engagement. We offer your staff real perks, implementing a discount and appreciation program that drives employee happiness and productivity in the workplace. The result? You enjoy bottom-line results reflecting enhanced employee engagement.

Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We're here to talk.

Topics: Perk-Me-Up of the Month

blog author

Eric Golubitsky

Eric brings 18+ years of entrepreneurial experience. Eric founded S.M.I.L.E. Inc. in 1998, which was a Consumer Electronic Pro Top 100 home automation provider and was recognized as the #1 fastest growing company in NE Ohio by CWRU Weatherhead School of Management in 2003. As an Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" finalist in 2005, Eric's accomplishments have been recognized multiple times including the Consumer Electronics Association's national "Mark of Excellence Award." Eric is also a 5 year member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization).